The princess lifted the gigantic latch and pushed the huge door to the back of the palace, where people were not allowed to venture, with all her strength. It moved open making sounds of decrepit and rust as if it had not been used for ages. The architectural edifice was gigantic as if a mountainous sized rock smoothened on the outside with rectangles of bricks carved all around – the top of what is not easily seen without hurting a neck.

She stood there is abject silence devouring the beauty of what she was looking at, lit by the full moon, as if she had to be quick for someone might see her there and usher her back into the palace. Before her were five deep steps down, followed by naturally outgrown lawn wet with the night. She stepped down the stairs blowing the petal of fire in her lantern. The wet bouncy lawn of the night gave relieving cushion under her feet, making her feet realize in all senses that she no longer was on the hard stone floors of the richly touted palace.

A few meters away was a narrow stream of about a little less than twenty feet in width. She walked towards the stream surprised. The full moon reflected itself brilliantly from the water dark with the night, the glint as if hitting her eyes. Why isn’t the stream flowing? Aren’t these waters supposed to move? She put the lantern down on the grass not caring for the wet, pushed her thick multilayered gown that flowed fluently down her hip to her feet, towards her body and sat on the lawn. It felt as if the mist all around in the still and eerily silent air was warming. The moon moved a foot away on the water as she sat and the crickets were the only things breaking the otherwise chilly silence.

She pulled her thighs together and strapped her knees tight with her arms for snugness. After observing the waters for long, she started to recognize the tiny ripples formed as infinitesimal insects jumped in and out from the narrow border of wet dark mud between the lawn and the stream. She looked at the moon over her, amidst the dark sky with stellar twinkles all around and then back down before her. The moon was bigger and more luminescent on the even darker waters, still. Such a beautiful sight! Stupid myths and lores about the palace backyard!

Suddenly, arose beside her a twittery sound. And then a little wails but playful. Her eyes were now to a couple of rabbits playing. They were pushing one onto another, grunting softly and then again with their tender light limbs, away from each other, both bodies falling onto one another. The natural beauty of the play beside her was just too much for her to take in. She sat there, eyes locked in awe to the tender rabbits, ivory furred, as they played with each other. She then pushed her feet out her brown leather shoes and put them on the wet lawn wringing the grass as she pushed her bare feet into the lawn left and right cozying them of the warmth. This way passed the whole night as the rabbits played on beside her – and the full moon radiant on the heavy calm waters of the stream.

It was morning and the sun had just routed the horizon, with its first light piercing through the air heating everything. Where in God’s name did the Princess go? – the chambermaid murmured on seeing the princess’s bed empty. Then pursued a long search. The prince was worried to hell. The chambermaid had no option but to check the cursed backyard of the palace. The latch was locked from the inside but irrespective, she had to see. The door sounded less rusty as the chambermaid walked down the five steps onto a dilapidated, muddy ground with a few tiny tufts of grass here and there while the early morning sun went up.

The stream was flowing from her right to left with a brown tint as it collected the loose wet mud on its narrow banks. She heard some playful purring on her right. It was of the rabbits. They didn’t stop their mirth yet. The maid thinned her eyes curiously piercing her look to the white fluffy rabbits. She could sense but faintly something unearthly – after all, it was the unholy back of the palace she was on. Her eyes finally could detect the mouths of the rabbits that were dark blood red out all around from their noses to their long chins. Another closer look at the stream, by the rabbits, and the chambermaid’s eyes grew unnaturally large as she breathed to the top of her lungs with her tight fist beating on her chest. Her body jerked, paralyzed by the gory. –The Horror –




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